Professor Dale Carpenter teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, the First Amendment, and sexual orientation and the law. In 2014, he won the University’s top award for graduate and professional teaching, earning the title Distinguished University Teaching Professor. He was selected Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer for 2013. In 2007, he was appointed the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law. He was the Julius E. Davis Professor of Law for 2006-07 and the Vance K. Opperman Research Scholar for 2003-04. Professor Carpenter was chosen the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year for 2003-04 and 2005-06 and was the Tenured Teacher of the Year for 2006-07. Since 2004, he has served as an editor of Constitutional Commentary.
Professor Carpenter received his B.A. degree in history, magna cum laude, from Yale College in 1989. He received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992. At the University of Chicago he was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Chicago Law Review. He received both the D. Francis Bustin Prize for excellence in legal scholarship and the John M. Olin Foundation Scholarship for Law & Economics.
Professor Carpenter clerked for The Honorable Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1992 to 1993. After his clerkship, he practiced at Vinson & Elkins in Houston and at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin in San Francisco. He is a member of the state bars of Texas and California.
He is a frequent television, radio, and print commentator on constitutional law, the First Amendment, and sexual orientation and the law. Since 2005, he has been an active blogger on the popular legal blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, which is hosted by the Washington Post.
University of Chicago Law School
J.D. 1992, with honors
Member, University of Chicago Law Review, 1990-91
Editor-in-Chief, University of Chicago Law Review, 1991-92
D. Francis Bustin Prize for excellence in legal scholarship
John M. Olin Foundation Scholarship for Law & Economics
B.A. 1989, magna cum laude, distinction in major (history)
John Addison Porter Prize for best American history senior essay (topic: Griswold v. Connecticut)